Big Four Bridge

Big Four Bridge

The Mayor’s office released its annual progress report today. The 10-page report highlights accomplishments across all sectors over the past year. The title is “Progress Louisville: Creating America’s most innovative, entrepreneurial city.”

Not surprisingly, it focuses solely on the positive — after all, it is a progress report. (By the way, Insider Louisville is scheduled to interview Mayor Fischer on Thursday, after which you can expect a meatier story about the challenges the city is facing.)

We’ve culled some of the highlights below, but the entire flipbook is worth checking out.

“From regaining all the jobs lost during the great recession to creating a more innovative and compassionate community, Louisville’s momentum is very positive,” says Mayor Fischer. “This report looks at where we’ve been and where we’re going.”


By the summer of 2013, the city had regained all 42,000 jobs lost during the recession. Overall, the city gained 12,400 jobs this year.

Also the progress report cites the mayor’s recent announcement of a “Bourbon and Local Food Work Group” and the four distilleries planned for Main Street over the next couple of years.


The progress report focuses on open data and statistics and how data-driven innovation has made an impact on Metro government and the private sector. Data found at LouieStat helped Louisville EMS shave minutes off their hospital turn-around time and by doing so created an additional 40 hours of coverage a day.

Health and Compassion

The mayor’s Give-a-Day week in April broke records this year with more than 107,000 volunteers participating. Festival of Faiths leveraged the Dalai Lama’s visit in May to create a mini-festival of compassion that attracted national attention.

The number of farmers’ markets that accept EBT and SNAP benefits has increased.


We’ve achieved a new record this year: 42 percent of Louisville adults have at least an associate’s degree. Local universities saw a 67 percent increase in adults returning to school to complete their degrees.

The mayor’s SummerWorks program employed 1,800 teenagers and the city had summer camp programs for more than 500 kids.

The Louisville Free Public Library broke ground on a new Southwest Regional Library and added online learning programs like Treehouse.

Public Safety

Violent crimes were down in 2013 — everything from homicides to assaults. The mayor also appointed Anthony Smith as the director of Safe Neighborhoods. The city’s website now features an improved crime-mapping system so citizens can see what’s going on in their neighborhood.


In 2013, the city released its first sustainability plan, which lays “a foundation for a healthier, more efficient Louisville.” The city also hired an urban forester and implemented an online tree tracking system.


Both public and private investments in the Shawnee and Portland neighborhoods will lead to the renovation of more than 200 homes. The goal is to reduce vacant and abandoned properties by 40 percent in three years.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork opened two parks and broke ground on two more. More than 28 miles of new bike lanes now connect the University of Louisville, Old Louisville and downtown. The Big Four bridge has quickly become a favorite destination for fun and fitness.

Additional accolades included:

  • Lonely Planet top travel destination for 2013
  • No. 3 best city for entrepreneurs under 30
  • Top 10 city for cycling by the Travel Channel
  • One of the AARP’s best places to retire
  • “Up and Coming Food City” by Zagat
  • One of 20 “Best of the World” destinations by National Geographic